• Jeff Matthews

Weekend Edition: Mandatory Dog Treats for All

HILLARY CLINTON SAID she was forming an exploratory committee for the 2008 presidential race, embarking on a widely anticipated campaign for the White House. (Clinton’s statement) 9:49 a.m.

• New Mexico Gov. Richardson Sets Committee • Sen. Brownback Declares Presidential Bid • Road to 2008: See Who’s in the Race — Wall Street Journal, online edition

I appear before you today to announce that yet another newcomer has formed an exploratory committee to investigate a potential candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. The candidate is my dog, Lucy, and the committee consists of her sibling, Rosie, and three cats: Marvin, Ralph and Kitty.

I admit to being somewhat surprised by this development: Lucy is a mutt whose major concern in life has been, until today, primarily limited to the Universal and Unrestricted Availability of Affordable Dog Treats to all canines regardless of age, creed or mixed heritage, not to mention getting scratched on the rump once in a while.

Nevertheless, Lucy wants me to tell the world, to paraphrase the memorable words of Senator Dole when he quit his Senate seat to prepare for his doomed Presidential bid, “I sit here, more or less still except when one of the cats walks by and swats my nose, just a dog.” Lucy apparently reached her courageous decision after hearing about the inordinate number of politicians who have likewise announced their plans for the World’s Most Powerful Office without having the faintest chance of making it to the first meaningful party caucus—Iowa—yet for some reason feel compelled to call the press together and make an announcement such as this:

“Search the record of history. To walk away from the Almighty is to embrace decline for a nation… To embrace Him leads to renewal, for individuals and for nations.” That comes from Senator Brownback, a Kansas Republican who may in fact be the best candidate of any candidate who ever threw his or her metaphorical hat into the ring for any political office ever created…but if it’s any indication of how he plans to run for President, I can’t see how the good Senator from Kansas has any better shot at reaching the White House than my dog Lucy from the Humane Society.

Certainly, not being electable to an office doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t try for it. This is, after all, America: Abe Lincoln famously tried and failed many times before his moment came, and he is now widely acknowledged as the greatest President we’ve ever had.

Still, one would think a savvy pol such as Bill Richardson, the politically ambitious Governor of New Mexico whose main claim to fame is that he could not get the streets plowed after a recent snow storm hit his state, would know that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2008—period, end of story.

Yet here he is, announcing the formation of yet another Committee to Yadda-Yadda-Yadda: “I am taking this step because we have to repair the damage that’s been done to our country over the last six years…. Our reputation in the world is diminished, our economy has languished, and civility and common decency in government has perished.” I will go on record here and say that as highly as they may think of themselves, there is not a declared or undeclared Democratic candidate, Mr. Richardson included, who has a chance of beating Hillary for the nomination.

Not “Fighting Joe” Biden, nor our own “Senator Forehead”—Chris Dodd—or the earnest John Edwards, the curiously bloated Al Gore, the humorless John Kerry, the frighteningly incompetent Dennis Kucinich, or the I-don’t-know-enough-about-him-to-precede-his-name-with-a-remark Tom Vilsack.

Not even—and I say this strictly as a matter of political reality—Barack Obama has a chance to win the nomination, although I would put money on Obama to be Hillary’s Vice Presidential candidate, which is, I imagine, what the current the posturing is about.

As for the Republicans, I’d be likewise willing to bet Mitt Romney is the candidate in 2008. Not for nothing, but Bill Clinton and George Bush before him were each terrific fundraisers and former Governors. Plus I hear Mitt gets people excited…and this is from people who don’t usually get excited about politicians.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the chances for my dog Lucy, I must tread lightly on these pages, for while I admire her stance on Mandatory Dog Treats for All, I must admit the rest of her platform is pretty thin. Still, Lucy has promised to flesh out her positions on Iraq, global warming, energy independence and tax-code reform…so long as I give her more treats, and keep scratching that itch.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2007 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice. It should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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